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By Alex Gallagher | November 17, 2021

When the pandemic hit in March 2020, Matthew Honeycutt found himself contemplating his next move.

His band was sidelined, like the rest of the touring music industry, and Honeycutt knew he had to find a new way to support himself.

He heard about a barbershop opening in Mesa that was owned by two metal musicians. Excited, he packed his bags and got a fresh start.

“We passed through here on tours and I always thought, ‘This seems like such an ideal place,’” he says.

After cutting hair at Continental Barbershop for the past year and a half and in between tours, Honeycutt is looking forward to hitting stages once again with Kublai Khan TX. Most of the tour calls for two nights in each town as the headliners, The Acacia Strain, will play two of its albums in their entirety on respective nights.

“The fact that we get to play two nights in a row is wild,” he says, “We’ve always just passed through so playing twice is pretty crazy.”

Kublai Khan TX, meanwhile, will keep the setlist simple. It will see how audiences react to the new single, “Resentment.” In addition to “Resentment,” Kublai Khan TX will perform “True Fear,” “Boomslang” and “Self-Destruct.”

With the band playing heavy riffs highlighted by Honeycutt’s booming voice, he hopes that the show will serve as a catharsis for fans who use music as a coping mechanism.

“I feel like there is definitely going to be some newfound anger with a lot of the subjects of our music but as long as people keep a cool head and realize that if you’re at this show, we’re all on the same team,” Honeycutt says.

He describes a Kublai Khan TX show as an “ignorant education” as fans engage in large mosh pits, jumping up and down and rushing their way to the stages.

“Our shows are a way to listen to each other and look at the things going on inside yourself in the most absurd, violent and ignorant way possible,” he says.

It is for that reason that he thinks Kublai Khan TX is a perfect fit for the tour.

“I think we have a really good mix of bands because we’re all different enough from each other to where we all bring something unique to the table, but we’re similar enough to where it’s a very solid package,” he says.

Leading up to the tour, Honeycutt shared his plans with his clients and fans.

“Saying that you’re playing somewhere two nights in a row makes you sound like you’re important,” Honeycutt says with a laugh.

The Acacia Strain with Kublai Khan TX, Orthodox and Dying Wish

When: 6 p.m. Friday, November 26, and Saturday, November 27

Where: The Nile Theater, 105 W. Main Street, Mesa

Cost: $17